Dove with Branch
March 12, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have a friend who has lots of troubles. He is always asking for my help and I end up giving it. The problem is that he doesn't seem to appreciate my help. He asks for my advice, ignores it, and then blames me when it doesn't work out. This leaves me upset. How can I get him to appreciate what I do for him? - Robert in FL

Dear Robert, You probably can't. You can however learn not to expect or require his appreciation. You can learn to think that your advice is given with love and without "strings of appreciation" attached. If this doesn't work for you, and you want to retain him as a friend, try telling him that you have no more advice to give. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married four times without success. I have found a wonderful man who is attentive and whom I love very much. My experience has been that things change once you marry. I am afraid to try again. I don't think I can accept another failure; but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? - Vera in CT

Dear Vera, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is a success? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Don't remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Don't remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your relationship. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

All too often when we have a problem in our society and we think we can solve it simply by spending more money. We think we can get better government or solutions to our social issues, just by hiring more people or paying higher salaries which will attract better people. More of the same is not always the best answer.

If the methods we are using or the people we are hiring cannot solve the problem we would be better served by first identifying the problem. We often spend much time searching for better results without really understanding why things are happening the way they are. The first step is to take a deeper look at what is behind the problem and what do we really want the outcome to be before we start looking for answers.

For example, our educational system is not producing the results we desire for our children. Instead of just hiring more teachers, let's take a serious look at what we are doing now and look for ways to be more effective. Our society is complex and requires skills beyond the three R's. Are we teaching our children the skills they need to produce the quality of life that we desire for them? Just what are the qualities we want our children to learn for their lives? How can we provide a good education when we don't even know the answers to these questions?

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Humor can be an effective way to prevent our negative emotions from occurring. It is not possible to experience true humor and negative emotions at the same time. If you find something funny you are not looking at it in a negative way. When we look for the humor in every situation and respond with humor whenever possible, we tend to blunt the tendency to feel negative about something. Instead we transform it into a positive emotion. When we do this we change the negative situation or the event, whatever it may be, into a positive event from our point of view.

Humor can be an effective way to prevent our negative emotions from occurring. It is not possible to experience true humor and negative emotions at the same time. If you find something funny you are not looking at it in a negative way. When we look for the humor in every situation and respond with humor whenever possible, we tend to blunt the tendency to feel negative about something. Instead we transform it into a positive emotion. When we do this we change the negative situation or the event, whatever it may be, into a positive event from our point of view.

When you respond with humor you are able to actually shift from a negative emotion to a positive one just by the way you perceive and react to the event. Thinking it is funny when someone cuts in front of you in traffic will change your emotional response. By using humor, you're telling yourself that you refuse to take things too seriously. Humor reduces the seriousness of your thought. It shows that you can laugh at your failures. Humor laughs at our failures, but in an accepting and tolerant way. It helps you see the other side of things.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how often you use humor.

Tuesday: Think about how it makes you feel when others use humor.

Wednesday: Think about how humor can transform a negative situation.

Thursday: Think about how others feel when you respond with humor.

Friday: Think about how good it feels to be able to laugh at whatever happens.

Saturday: Think about something that disturbs you and find a funny way of looking at it.

Sunday: Resolve to always see the funny side of life.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

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